Efforts to directly confront China and Russia over their anti-democratic actions are unlikely to yield results and may further bolster their collaboration, according to analysts Andrea Kendall-Taylor and David Shullman. There are, however, tools that the West can deploy to counter this trend, they write for Foreign Affairs:
In addition to upholding positive models of democratic governance, the United States and its partners should double down on bolstering the democratic resiliency of countries most at risk, including through supporting the development of independent, in-country expertise on China and Russia and bolstering investigative journalism and civil society, which can shine a light on authoritarian influence and national leaders co-opted by it. The stronger a country’s regulatory environment, civil society, political parties, and independent media, the less effective authoritarian powers’ attacks on democratic institutions will be, and the less appeal the authoritarian narrative and model will have.
The authoritarian offensive is detailed in the influential “sharp power” report published by the National Endowment for Democracy.
“Working with U.S. allies and partners to empower domestic constituencies to stand up against foreign subversion of their own democracies will be the most effective weapon against Chinese and Russian influence,” they add. RTWT